The US will see a turning point in the battle to contain coronavirus sooner than expected, according to the Nobel laureate who correctly predicted when China would get through the worst of its crisis.
Stanford University biology professor Michael Levitt, who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry, said his models don’t support predictions that the virus will wreak months or even years of social disruption or cause millions of deaths, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“What we need is to control the panic… we’re going to be fine,” assured Levitt, who correctly predicted early on that China would get through the worst of the outbreak by mid-February.
His optimistic report on China said that the country would peak with around 80,000 and 3,250 deaths. He was not far off: China has reported 81,588 cases with 3,281 deaths as of March 24.
Now, Levitt is looking at 78 countries that have reported more than 50 new infections each day.
He said he focuses on new cases — as opposed to overall totals — and sees “signs of recovery” in each of the places.
“Numbers are still noisy, but there are clear signs of slowed growth,” Levitt said, without offering a concrete date for when the US may see its turning point.
The US has confirmed more than 46,000 cases, resulting in at least 593 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to figures from John Hopkins University.
Levitt acknowledged that not all cases have been detected in some countries, but their death tolls are on track with his findings, the outlet reported.
Though fatality rates are higher than the flu, Levitt said the pandemic is “not the end of the world,” according to the outlet.
“The real situation is not as nearly as terrible as they make it out to be,” Levitt told the newspaper.
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